04 September 2017

Reading / Links, 4 Sept 17

Stuff I've been reading in the last week or two:

Network Science, chapters 3 and 4. Pretty funny; he throws some shade on Erdos and Strogatz.  The editing / proofreading continues to disappoint, but the material is decent.  The main thing I want out of this book is an understanding of cascade failures (which he claims to have a good model for in the introduction); a graph theory refresher doesn't hurt though.

The Mind Illuminated, Chapter 4, Interlude 4, beginning of Chapter 5.  Interlude 4 was very interesting - consciousness is quantized and cut up into frames, like network packets, and dullness is packets dropping.  I really wish he'd include footnote references for the science behind this stuff, given that he's a neuro guy...  Given chapters 3, 4, and 5, it seems like I'm somewhere in late phase 3 or early phase 4 (modulo the fact that my practice is still irregular).

The Systems Bible.  Has nothing to do with systems programming, except inasmuch as programmers build systems.  Describes ways in which complex systems evolve and dysfunction.  Not at all rigorous, to the point where it doesn't bother to define "system", but some parallels with Rao's Gervais Principle in the organizational context (organizations constructed with backdoors allowing actual work to get done, eventually collapse under their own entropy) and with some of Scott's criticisms of high modernism in Seeing Like a State (the designed system opposes its own intended function and scales in unpredictable ways).  Also seems sort of linked to The Dispossessed, with its point about the emergence of effectively-bureaucratic systems under anarchist conditions.

Introduction to the DWARF Debugging Format.  I'm looking for stupid dwarf tricks, and was excited to find that DWARF contains at least two sorts of bytecode for generating tables of debugging information.

Relatedly, Funky File Formats.

Documentation on ptrace, proc, ELF, bpf, more bpf...  There's all kinds of fun stuff in /proc that I didn't know about.

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